Rolf Kohler

VP Global Information Technology

 As an early adopter of S/4HANA, we are securing our ERP investment in the best possible way because SAP now only innovates on S/4. 

Facts & Figures

December 2019

Company facts:

Company name: Ricola
Head office: Laufen/BL
Industry: Food production
Employees: approx. 500

Project facts:

  • New introduction of SAP S/4HANA with a greenfield approach
  • SAP modules: Production, production planning, quality control, purchasing, warehousing, sales, finance, controlling and HR (human resources). Further applications and peripheral systems, e.g. the warehouse management system, are connected via more than 20 interfaces
  • 13-month project duration


Innovative, agile ERP guarantees Ricola’s high quality

Ricola employs some 500 people worldwide and produces about 60 varieties of herbal sweets and tea specialities at its headquarters in Laufen near Basel, from where they are exported to more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia and America. Part of the reason why this Swiss top brand is so successful lies in combining the traditional values of a family-owned company with quality awareness and an innovative spirit. As a quality-oriented company, Ricola needs modern, agile, state-of-the-art IT.

The challenges

Ricola’s IT landscape is complex and specific challenges must be met due to the validated environment in which Ricola operates. That’s because most of its sweets are sold in the USA, where approval is required from the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration).


The former SAP R/3 landscape dated back to 1997. In the intervening 20-plus years, a substantial number of in-house developments had accumulated. Ricola pursued two primary goals in introducing SAP S/4HANA: Firstly, the company needs a powerful and future-proof IT landscape in which SAP invests a lot in order to constantly offer its customers innovations. Secondly, the greenfield approach paves the way to a return to the SAP standard.


The return to the standard is being checked in a PoC and the newly introduced system (greenfield) is being planned and implemented with the help of Swisscom SAP experts. The use of SAP best practice had a positive impact on project lead times and costs. The switch was made on time and on budget and maintained the agreed short interruption of operations during the cutover. The Migration Cockpit, which was newly developed by SAP for S/4HANA, was used for the data transfer, a move that proved very successful.


The advantages


  • A return to the SAP standard using best practices
  • Minimal business interruption, cutover on a weekend
  • An outstanding technological basis for further digitisation projects


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